Hosted by NutraIngredients Editor Nikki Hancocks at the Active Nutrition Summit in Amsterdam last week, the panel delved into the prospects of personalised nutrition services, with Theo Wiley, founder of the personalised supplements startup Myoform, emphasising the importance of scalability and automation in manufacturing processes for growth and business longevity.
Wiley stated: “For us, it's I think making the technology scalable will be the key to success, and what’s amazing right now in the space of genetics, is that the cost of testing is coming down dramatically which should allow for more mass market uptake.”
However, he explained that personalised solutions still appeal to a more luxury market consumer, asserting: "Personalisation is not going to take over from the mass market one-size-fits-all solution.
“Until technology has become so cheap that it makes sense for the average consumer, it's always going to be more in the luxury and high-performance sector.”
Nard Clabbers, founder of NCNC Nutrition Consultancy, added that there is a need to simplify the consumer experience and consider the full spectrum of health impactors in the consumer’s life.
“The successful companies have made it very simple and usually sell some kind of supplement. So that's the key success factor I’ve seen so far and what I see working in the future.”
“There’s an increasing amount of personalised nutrition companies out there that are trying to say, ‘instead of you having to see all this information, why don't we help you make a decision.’
“Those kinds of providers are able to take the decision out of the consumers’ hands and try and provide something really low friction.”
He added that consumers shouldn’t have to be scientifically literate to make decisions about their health, and he believes that clear communication is where the market will attain success.
But he added that it is important to consider the wider ecosystem of the industry, explaining: “One of the important success factors is definitely the integration of a personalised behavioural change in your nutrition products, but it is also important to look at the wider ecosystem.
“Selling a supplement is part of the personalised nutrition solution for a consumer. But to add more value for that consumer, we should be looking at where the other 95% of their nutrients come from and how can we help them with another 25%. We should be working with their local retailers, working with restaurants, working with their gym to see how we can expand the ecosystem - I think that is the future.”
And Dr. Janne Prawitt, scientific director at Rousselot, added that to be able to offer personalised solutions, the research needs to be solid, explaining that Rousselot is already ensuring to have a more personalised approach to its scientific studies as the team wants to know how specific populations of consumers will respond to ingredients.
“I think it's spot-on to make it more tangible and relevant for the consumer later but of course, it's also about creating data sets, and larger amounts of quantitative knowledge.”
Rousselot’s scientists are also looking at integrating wearables into their trials to help achieve this, and Prawitt suggested that this technology offers potential for further innovation in studies.